But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. – Luke 6:35
In his book, The Grace of Giving, Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution named Peter Miller who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
In the same town also lived an evil–minded man who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor whenever he had the chance. One day, this man was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. So Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for General George Washington to spare the life of the traitor.
“No, Peter,” General Washington said. “I cannot grant you the life of your friend.”
“My friend?” exclaimed the old preacher. “He’s the bitterest enemy I have!”
“What?” cried Washington. “You’ve walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in different light. I’ll grant your pardon.”
Peter Miller took his long–time enemy back home to Ephrata–but now he was a friend.
So often today, Christians miss out on the blessings that can come with loving their enemies. They don’t like this or that group of people because their behavior is sinful, so they treat them as outcasts. But what if instead of condemning them, we showed them who God is by loving them despite their actions?
God loved us when we were His enemies. So love others the same way and just watch how He’ll change lives through you!
Ask God to show you “enemies” you can love today. Pray that He would transform their hearts as they see the kind of God you serve!
Question for thought
How is Jesus’ encouragement in today’s passage upside down from the ways of our culture?
Who has the Holy Spirit has brought to your mind and how can you show love to them?